Replacing the quarterback of one's favorite team can feel very much like mourning the loss of a loved one. This is especially true if said quarterback achieved success. As someone who performed his undergraduate studies at Boise State University during the Kellen Moore Era, I was able to see firsthand a quarterback who achieved great success. When the day came that saw Moore play his last snap as a Bronco, plenty of Boiseans such as myself felt as if someone had passed on while we were all left to pick up the pieces.
Bronco fans were certainly spoiled to have lived through the days of Moore. Considering all the records that had to be rewritten because of him, it's very clear that players of his caliber may only come around once in someone's lifetime.
Now the anecdote above may serve as an extreme example of replacing a quarterback. Nonetheless, most football fans can probably understand to varying degrees the point I am attempting to convey.
I discuss this today because for University of Washington fans, this story is all too real after yesterday's press release. Quarterback Cyler Miles announced that he is retiring from football due to an ailing hip injury that has plagued him throughout his career. Doctors finally advised Miles to abandon the game of football to ensure he does not complicate matters further.
Miles was paramount to the Husky offense last season, starting 12 of the team's 14 games while throwing for 2,397 yards and 17 touchdowns to only four interceptions. Miles also managed to gather up four touchdowns via the run game.
This news is especially devastating as the Huskies head into the 2015 campaign ranked number one for schedule strength based on opponent's 2014 win-loss record. The Huskies have games with numerous teams who are already breaking into ESPN's way-too-early top 25 rankings including: Oregon, USC, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State and Stanford. The Huskies also face a tough home contest against a very good Utah State team. It seems like nearly every week the Huskies will be matching up against a team with a very real case for being in the top 25.
Candidates who are likely to succeed Miles as starting quarterback are (in no particular order) Jake Browning, K.J. Carta-Samuels, and Jeff Lindquist.
Is Miles on the same level as someone like Kellen Moore? Obviously no. I can't believe I would ask such an asinine question. However, head coach Chris Petersen and the entire Husky fan base certainly won't be feeling elements of joy and happiness at Miles' announcement. The Huskies are already coming off of a subpar 8-6 season in 2014 and are faced with a daunting 2015 schedule. It may not be fair to write off the Huskies at this juncture, especially when they have a football genius in Petersen making all the decisions. On the contrary, any Husky fan will want to stay within the realm of reality as far as expectations are concerned to avoid any potential heartbreak.
Once again, replacing Miles sure won't equate to the difficulty of replacing someone like Moore. However, when you add everything up in the case of the Huskies, I certainly don't envy being one of their fans right now. As the old adage goes: expect the worst, hope for the best.